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            June, 2004

      Carol Sanderson, Editor
      Charles Hansen, Technical Advisor

      Newsletter Archives   |  E-mail                    

 A Gift
by CarolSanderson

        I've been thinking real hard this past week as to what I should write. There are several things I really want to write about, but they don't want to be written yet. Last month I wrote about preserving your records and data. There is something else that should be preserved too...if not for you, for succeeding generations and that is family stories and memorabilia.

        This was brought home to me last week when my two daughters came to visit for Mother's Day and to celebrate their common birthdate although they are NOT twins. They were both looking forward to visiting their Dad who is in a long-term care facility. The oldest had not seen him since he went in last summer.

        Our three children spend time trying to think of things they can do for him as it gets harder the longer he is there. The older of the two girls e-mailed me and wanted certain pictures saying that she was doing something for her Dad for Father's Day but early as she wanted to see his face when he opened it. I thought pictures...she is doing a scrapbook or picture album. That sort of thing is too heavy for him to handle but I didn't say anything.

        We went to visit their Dad, the afternoon of the day they arrived. There is always anticipation and perhaps a little fear that he won't remember them this time. He did know them and was glad to see them.

        Our older daughter gave her Dad the gift she had made but that her sister and her husband had a hand in too. There was a look of amazement on his face and he had a hard time keeping tears from his eyes. The gift was a very lightweight quilt that had pictures ironed on the various squares.

        There were pictures of his Mom and Dad about the time they were married and some from his childhood. Also one of his paternal grandparents and other aunts and uncles were on it. Then our wedding picture and some of our children in their younger years were on other squares.Our children's wedding pictures will go on it as soon as they are located and the transfer prepared. All of the grandchildren are represented as are all of our great grandchildren including the newest one not even a month old.

        He is so pleased and proud of that 1quilt. All the nurses and aides have to see it. They help him to remember by asking questions. The answers are right there as each picture has a caption. This will probably not last for years and years but the memories of it will last his lifetime and for the lifetimes of those involved in it.

        Some words of a song Dean Martin used to sing2 are:

"With His Blessings from above,
Serve it generously with love.
One man, one wife,
One love, through life:

Memories are made of this"
And so it is.

      1 WebMaster's Footnote: Memory Quilt [feet are extra].
      2 Footnote: As recorded by Dean Martin and The Easy Riders; - written by Terry Gilkyson, Richard Dehr, and Frank Miller (The Easy Riders); - a #1 hit in 1956.

 Seminars - by Charles Hansen

        Each year there are numerous conferences you can go to that will help you learn how to become a better genealogist. Most are quite a ways for most people to travel to and require you to be away from home and with the cost of gas may be too expensive for many genealogists. They do offer a great many sessions and are a great way to learn how to break your brick walls.

        Our genealogical society meets the first Saturday of each month except July and August and after the general meeting usually has a short seminar to help everyone learn. These meetings are free and open to the public. The May 1st meeting featured Shirley Oaks who showed examples of documents she has collected over the years that will never be on the Internet.

        S hirley started out telling that she has been researching her family for years and learned to look for records before the Internet. She started out showing her birth certificate and what she found out about her family just from that one document. Next she showed a naturalization record for one of her uncles, and it had a lot of information on the uncle and his family. Then she showed a marriage certificate of a cousin. It showed the bride and groom, the minister and two witnesses. However, the document that the bride and groom filled out to get the license, the "Marriage Return" had a lot more genealogical information such as, the place of birth of both the bride and groom, the names of all four parents including the maiden names of the mothers, the place of birth of the parents, ages of the bride and groom, occupations, and if it was the first marriage or what ever number if either had been married before.

        Where did she find these records? Well the marriage records were in the courthouse, naturalization records in the regional archives, and birth and death records are kept by the state. Before the Internet you would check one of the books like the"Source" or the"Handy Book for Genealogists" and they would give you the location of the records, and which records were available. Today the same information is posted on the Internet.

        Besides the monthly meeting our society also did some other seminars this year on the second Tuesday of February, March, April and May, in the morning and again in the evening. These were all free and taught by members of the society.

        The May seminar was how to find records on the Internet, which fit right in with Shirley's seminar. Barbara Brazington started out by saying she would not talk about the sites that everyone already searches, Rootsweb, Ancestry, Genealogy.Com, Family Search, GenWeb, etc.

        Who generated most of the records we use today? The Government did, so search their sites, The National Archives, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service (they have a great Civil War site), Veterans Administration, US Geological Survey, US Military History Institute, Naval Historical Center and the Smithsonian all have sites.

        Here are some sites on the Internet that were mentioned above:

National Archives
Bureau of Land Management (Land Records)
National Park Service
US Geological Survey
US Military History Institute
Naval Historical Center
Virginia Tech's Odessa Library, Germans from Russia database
New York Public Library
St. Joseph Missouri Museum
Brigham Young University
University of Connecticut
Circus Folk
The History Net
Virtual Talking Machine

        Who else collects records? Libraries, and Archives do. Search the area you researching in for libraries and archives to see what records they have and how to access them. Check universities and be sure to check their list of dissertations, they may provide clues you néed. Check for church records, clans, unions, newspapers, maps and anything else that may help you find your ancestor.

        Once you find the record; how do you get a copy? Well interlibrary loans are one way; check to see if there are researchers in the area, or genealogical societies that do research for others. The most interesting way is kind of how I started helping others, but there was no Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness when I started researching for others. Doing research for others is a great way to learn how to research and the great thank you letters are nice also.

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